Los Angeles is a difficult city to define. According to the literati who flocked here in the ’30s to disdainfully pen scripts for a resented paycheck, L.A. is a land of sinister lotus-eaters whose shadowy estates conceal secret depravities from the stoic gumshoes ferreting her secrets. According to the television and movies of the ’50s to ’80s, it is a land of sex-crazed blonde bombshells, power-crazed young executives and unbridled opportunity. It was described by the media of the 1990s as a vast wasteland of ghettoes, where vicious gangs struggle with each other among the ruins of riot-torn communities terrorized by a corrupt police force. It has since emerged as a major global city, with an ever swelling populations of millions and untold billions invested in Pan-Pacific aspirations, where crushing homelessness, addiction, mental health epidemics, systematic inequality and racial violence collide with the nearly unimaginable wealth, power and privilege of its ruthless elites.
All of these views, subtly warped as they are, have an element of truth in them, but they don’t begin to truly define L.A. How can you define a city, which is better thought of as a collection of interdependent communities? The greater Los Angeles area comprises a huge mish-mash of ethnic communities, municipal governments, religious groupings, credos, philosophies and architectural styles. Similarly, it is possible to see something like a small group of City Farmers slowly bringing their once dilapidated neighborhood to life with innovative urban landscaping and rooftop greenhouse farming, and then on the other side of the freeway, come face to face with a poisoned, urban blight dominated by the Wyrm.
Such diversity can dazzle newcomers, and is both L.A.’s strength and its weakness. Similarly, the Gaians of Los Angeles have found themselves in one cycle after another of learning to adapt to change. It is a setting that has as much potential to appeal to a Gaian’s hope and optimism for the future, as to confirm their most apocalyptic fears and suspicions. The Garou themselves are not immune to many of the same ethnic, philosophical and political differences that strain modern Los Angeles at the seams, and yet there is no city on earth that is more worth fighting for.
To the victors go the spoils.
The Battle for Los Angeles
It is strongly recommended that players have available to them Werewolf the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition along with W20 Umbra – The Velvet Shadows and the Changing Breeds 20th Anniversary Edition if necessary.
For the Fera, the second edition Breed Books for Ananasi, Bastet, Corax, Gurahl, Nuwisha, and Ratkin can be useful and inspiring to read, but only story and cultural elements from them may be used freely (and only where they do not contradict with any 20th Edition or LiberationMUSH resource).
Likewise for the Garou, the revised edition Tribe Books may be referenced for story and background purposes, such as Tribebook: Bone Gnawers, Tribebook: Children of Gaia, Tribebook: Glass Walkers, and Tribebook: Uktena, however again, the 20th Anniversary books are the only books binding for rules and game mechanics.
I am strongly inclined to allow most Rites from past Tribe and Breed books, since there are many good ones that were cut merely to save space. There are a few Merits or Gifts that I wouldn’t mind adding as well, going forward, almost entirely of the flavorful, thematic and non-combatty variety.
Reminder: When 20th Edition lore clashes with a previous edition, 20th Edition is prioritized. Similarly, LiberationMUSH’s own setting information and houserules takes priority where it clashes with anything in 20th Edition.